MassArt grad is living the (alien) dream

September 7, 2012
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Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassART) graduate Brett Sylvia will spend his fall cramped and covered in fur—as the puppeteer inside OP the Cyclops at King Richard’s Faire in Carver.

OP the Cyclops is a fantastic, alien creature that most closely resembles something out of Dr. Seuss—gangling legs, covered in shaggy fur, with a long neck, followed with a wrinkled snout and topped with a single eye on a stalk.

Sylvia dreamed up OP—literally.

“The dream affected me on such a level, I figured I shouldn’t push it away,” he explained. So he kept the then-unnamed creature in the back of his mind.

Then, while taking electronics, mold-making and puppetry classes at MassART, Sylvia “put it all together,” he said. The electronics and mold-making classes taught him how to make OP’s head, while the puppetry class showed him how OP could move.

“I want something that can live off-screen,” he said.

Sylvia said he is thrilled to be returning to King Richard’s Faire through Oct. 21.

“These people were the ones who made my childhood amazing,” he said. “I never thought to be in that situation. It’s so much fun.”

Sylvia graduated from MassART last year. In his off time, he would go to Orlando for an ongoing internship at Disney World.

“But it wasn’t for me,” he said. “I’d grown beyond that, and it seemed like it would take years with them for them to notice what I did.”

Sylvia is collaborating with a low-income community in New Bedford next, he said.

“It will be something to do with the story of Moby Dick. That story put New Bedford on the map,” he said. “I think it’s a wonderful story.”

Sylvia is starting his master’s degree in fine arts at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth this fall.

“I’m creating and doing more creatures,” he said.

King Richard’s Faire is New England’s longest-running Renaissance Fair. For more information, see kingrichardsfaire.net. Sylvia’s website is brettsylvia.com.

OP the Cyclops puppet on display at the Axiom Gallery in Jamaica Plain. (Courtesy Photo)

One Response to MassArt grad is living the (alien) dream

  1. Julie Dennehy on September 7, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Great story… thanks to John Ruch and the Gazette for shining a spotlight on one of King Richard’s Faire cast members – we are SO fortunate to have him as part of our Faire!

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